When told to think of a memory with nature, I thought of my visit to Yosemite National Park. I have a forest in my backyard and have ventured there many times, but it was nothing compared to the trees at Yosemite. My family and I decided to incorporate a visit while we were in San Francisco for the summer. I was in a bad mood, but when we went up the winding roads to finally reach the park, my whole attitude changed. The mountains were absolutely astounding. We saw the half-dome, which is known all over the world for its beauty. There were people actually hiking up there! Now, this park is not just known for the awesome rock formations. It’s also known for the giant sequoia trees. I did not expect for them to be so massive and for them to be so numerous…there were 500 in the Mariposa Grove. Not only that, but my mom’s fiancé found pinecones the size of his foot, which is also pretty large. It was a beautiful sight; flowing waterfalls, huge mountains, and huge trees. Normally I am opposed to heights, but this just took my breath away. At night, you can see the stars and it is absolutely incredible. Looking at them while driving down the mountains added to the whole experience.
I talk about this experience because this is when I really realized how powerful nature is. Our environment consists of so many wondrous things that I never knew existed. Sure, I thought my trees were beautiful and I grew up playing in the yard, but seeing this really put everything in perspective for me. The air, the quiet sounds of water, the smell of the sequoias; that sealed the deal. I made up my mind from then on that we must protect the earth so that way it can be cherished by future generations. That experience was very influential in what major I decided to go into, so I do think childhood memories really shape how you feel about nature and being outdoors. It is important to teach younger people how to interact and really feel the world around us by traveling to national parks and taking walks in nature preserves.